More of a WWYD, really - about my DD's partner.

(17 Posts)
Niggit Fri 23-Sep-16 16:06:39

My DD has been with her partner for about 6 years, and living with him for most of those. I know he didn't have the easiest childhood. I know he finds interacting with people (except DD) well nigh impossible. I get all that, and me and DH have done our damndest to keep our distance, be pleasant, treat him like one of the family as far as we can without trying to force him into anything, all in the forlorn hope that he might thaw a bit. For example, we've always bought him Christmas and birthday gifts and cards, little random bits and pieces (you know, like when you see something silly and think, "Ooh, X might like that!") and invited them round as a couple...
But he's getting worse instead of better. Whenever I go round there, which I do quite a lot, I'm doing well if I get a grunt in response to my "hello". He's just refused to let her have our elderly dog to stay for a couple of weeks while I stay with my housebound mother, even though they've looked after him often before and despite the fact that we're currently looking after their pets while they're away, which is what precipitated this post, really.
I visit quite a lot because I get on very well with our DD, she likes me to, and also because she has some problems with anxiety and depression. If she was in a loving, supportive relationship she wouldn't need so much help and support from us; I think I should maybe back off a bit, but I worry about what will happen if I do. I think we put up with a lot of his behaviour for the same reason - oh, how I would love to tell him to f off, but I daren't. It's not my place, and I don't want to drive her away.
I know I can't choose who she has a relationship with. I know all we can do is be there for her when/if she needs us. I suspect all we can do is carry on as we are, continue to be pleasant but not pushy, and let them get on with it - but it's very, very hard, when I see other people her age in really nice, equal, loving relationships.
So...thoughts?

DoItTooJulia Fri 23-Sep-16 16:10:42

Eugh, how difficult. Is it a happy relationship? Are they local? Does she have friends?

I'd be worried that he is cutting her off from her support network-is he?

flowers for you.

Kewcumber Fri 23-Sep-16 16:25:46

How old are they?

I think I would be tempted to sit them both down and be straightforward...

"Look it's really not on to let someone look after your pets then refuse to do so for theirs. So I expect you to look after Fred whilst we are on holiday unless you can give me a reason why you shouldn't" And look him in the eye with a gimlet stare.

I would disengage from him a bit and make your "frequent" visits less frequent and arrange to she her for coffee outside or something.

It's tough.

furryminkymoo Fri 23-Sep-16 16:31:55

I would be honest with your DD, she isn't blind, she will see how her DP is treating you. Ask her for advice and opinion.

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 23-Sep-16 17:03:30

I understand he may have suffered greatly, however, he sounds pretty rude. It doesn't take much to say hello. Or is he hiding mental illness?

I would hate to see my DD in this situation and I understand your frustration with no reciprocation. What struck me is that you used "he refused to let her.....". To me, this sounds controlling. Is he controlling in other ways?

Can you ask her round to your house instead of going to see her or as pp said, meet on neutral territory?

TBH I would be concerned at them having the dog if this is his attitude. Would he hurt your dog? Is there no way you could find a dog sitter?. We take our dog to someone's house when we are away. Or perhaps take the dog with you?

You sound really frustrated and their relationship sounds worrying as he's pulling her away from you. Does she see friends sociably?

JulietteL Fri 23-Sep-16 17:21:34

What is he actually doing wrong? My DH is painfully shy and finds interacting with people difficult. He also hates receiving gifts and cards. None of this makes him any less a "loving and supportive partner".

It sounds like you don't like him much - which is fine: horses for courses and all that.

If your real problem is them not having the dog, then tackle that. What reason have they (he) given?

Fizzer123 Fri 23-Sep-16 17:40:33

He just sounds really rude to me. Don't withdraw from your daughter, she might need you.

Novinosincebambino Fri 23-Sep-16 18:04:01

My dh has a similar personality disorder and he finds my family too hard work because they are extremely comfortable in all social situations unlike him. He's not a bad guy and I love him dearly but when he was 'forced' to be more sociable he reacted on the offensive and found reasons to not want anything to do with my family (if you truly want to find things to dislike about people, you will find them). It makes his life easier to not have to deal with them but it's hard work trying to see as much of them (my family) as I'd like to because now my dh is not invited to any family occasions. Sounds like your dd's dp is trying to cause a rift because it's easier for him if he doesn't have to deal with these situations. My advice would be to support your dd but keep her dp at arms length. Be civil and be the good guys. When she does want to rant about him (which she will) be there for her but don't go shouting 'leave him' as that will have the opposite effect. Good luck and I hope it all works out.

Niggit Fri 23-Sep-16 18:11:55

Thanks all.
Dolt, Mummy, yes, they are fairly local. She doesn't really have friends, no, apart from a few people she gets on with well at work. As to is it a happy relationship - I'd have to say, some of the time. He can be very moody, which makes her cautious of getting on the wrong side of him. He's never hurt her, but he has thrown and broken a few things. And yes, I would say he can be controlling - DH loves baking, and he told her to tell DH to stop giving her cakes because he didn't want her to put on weight. Her support network basically consists of me and DH, which complicates the issue, although her brother is being an absolute star putting himself forward and effectively saying, "Hey, I'm here for you too." Fizzer, don't worry, I have no intention of letting that happen!

Juliette, it's difficult to describe, but he's more than just shy. The few times he's let his guard down a bit I've seen a glimpse of someone I'd like to get to know better - but the last time he did that was ages ago. He's known us long enough to have thawed a bit by now. He just plain doesn't like us and wants us to dissolve so he can have DD to himself, I think.

Furry, hard as it will be, I'm reluctantly coming to the same conclusion. It'll be a tough conversation, but I think I need to talk to her honestly. It helps that you are of the same mind.

dustarr73 Fri 23-Sep-16 21:16:38

He sounds like hes pissed off with you dropping in.

HarryPottersMagicWand Fri 23-Sep-16 21:34:04

I think he wants your DD all to himself and wants you to go away. I'd say don't let that happen. He can be shy or whatever but he doesn't need to be rude.

MIL could be a bit like that when she was with her DH (not DH's dad). She wanted them in her little bubble as much as possible. She would only deem it necessary to see anyone else (including her own children) if her DH was on shifts and she had nothing to do. She especially didn't like her step children spending any time with their father because that encroached on her time with him. He left her in the end.

Benedikte2 Fri 23-Sep-16 21:48:38

Are you sure he finds social interaction really difficult or is it he just prefers not to make the effort?
My XH was like that with my family and friends but ok with his own friends if he felt like it.
His behaviour sounds to be coercive and controlling ala the Archers recent scenario with Helen & Rob Titchener. He has cut off your DD's links with social contacts and discourages interaction with family. DD won't feel she can even make more friends. She'll end up feeling responsible for everything that doesn't go right in their relationship and lose all her self esteem. Meanwhile hell feel superior and have her all to himself. This is unreasonable and bullying behaviour and your DD can never be happy in that environment. Often the victim is one of the last to realise the true situation. There is, too, a natural reluctance to confide everything in ones parents so there may be physical abuse as well as mental abuse. Society tends to regard quiet introverted males as being less likely to be violent -- less likely to have a fight in the pub, yes, but more likely to hit and bullying their family in the privacy of their own home.
Keep in touch with your DD and arrange meetings away from her home. Try to encourage her to join a social club -- maybe something you can go to together if she doesn't fancy going by herself. If her P intervenes to persuade her to stop then that will confirm his intentions to isolate her from her supports. Remember real violence often follows pregnancy so be vigilant.
Horrid situation to be in OP. See if you can find a local support agency for yourself. Good luck

Niggit Fri 23-Sep-16 21:52:55

HarryPotter, yes - that's how it feels.

Novino, sorry, we crossposted. I think you've hit the nail on the head there - thankyou for sharing, and thankyou for the insight. I just worry about what will happen in the future, because I won't be here forever...

Damselindestress Sat 24-Sep-16 09:40:46

While I wouldn't completely disengage, I would stop with the practical support like pet sitting if they are not going to reciprocate but let your DD know you will always be there for her emotionally.

MermaidTears Sat 24-Sep-16 22:25:47

How often are you dropping in op? Could that be annoying him?

Niggit Mon 26-Sep-16 15:40:50

I don't think I explained myself very well in the original thread - the petsitting itself is not really a big issue, it was just the thing that finally prompted me to post on here. But yes, Damsel, maybe I should back off a bit - Mermaid's question made me think, and I am round there quite a lot, but then she asks me to drop in quite frequently, and she also comes and sees me often on her way home from work, because I think she's relying on me for the companionship and the support she's not getting at home...

TinklyLittleLaugh Mon 26-Sep-16 16:48:46

Sometimes I think it is okay to say to our kids, "Look, I realise I am only seeing a glimpse, but to me your partner is miserable, controlling and bloody hard work. I will be nice for your sake but I honestly think you should be with someone who makes you happier."

I do think that, by accepting and normalising how he behaves, it makes it harder for her to question if she is with the right person.

But then I am a bit of an interfering Mum at the best of times to be honest.

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